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Robotic surgery now available at NWTHS

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AMARILLO - Northwest Texas Hospital introduced a new kind of surgeon today, the Davinci SI, HD robot.

This robotic surgery technology isn't the first of its kind in the panhandle, but it's the most current technology on the market.

"We're very proud to announce today the arrival of our newest born technology," Northwest Texas Healthcare System CEO Mark Crawford announced in a press conference Tuesday.      

It's looks intimidating but the $1.5 million machine is made to make surgery less invasive for a patient, saving time and pain.

"I did two this morning. Each were done in about an hour from start to finish," Dr. Clyde Meek said. "Many women only use Ibuprofen or Advil for pain control afterwards."

Meeks is a gynecologist. He's performed over 200 operations on robotic machines, mostly hysterectomies.

He makes a tiny incision on the patient, no bigger than half an inch, then the robot arms do the work inside the body.

The new technology mimics the wrist movements of an actual surgeon, but allows them to operate with more precision.

It's extremely easy to use, even NewsChannel 10's Leslie Aguilar was able to operate it smoothly.

Before these machines, doctors would have to open up a patient and do everything these tiny tools do with their hands.

The traditional method left huge scars and a long healing process of up to eight weeks.

"The goal is to decrease the number of abdominal incisions and therefore decrease the pain and time away from work that is required for a woman undergoing a hysterectomy," Meeks said.

Right now a gynecologist and urologist at NWTHS are using the machine on patients, but the hospital is working to get a bariatric surgeon certified to use it as well.

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